Pickleology - A Blog by Veggie*Confetti
After years of simultaneously working in retail management for several established brands and dreaming
up business ideas of her own, Kelsey Tressler decided to dive into the food industry with her own venture, Veggie Confetti. In the beginning, Kelsey’s experiments with pickling her own vegetables were an exciting way to add some tang and flavor to her own home-cooked meals. Her vibrant creations quickly became a staple of her diet and she loved how they could transform her plate aesthetically and provide the more functional aspects of food needed to fuel her CrossFit workouts. Once she found the right support system in Union Kitchen, she knew that it was time to take the plunge.
Read more about Veggie Confetti and how Kelsey is dispelling the myth that cooking at home is boring below.
Did you always know that you wanted to start your own business?
For as long as I can remember I have been dreaming up businesses. I probably drove my co-workers and family members crazy due to the number of times I said, “Hey, what do you think of this idea?”. As always they indulged my creative side as I pitched everything from a modern milk delivery service to bulletproof coffee blocks … don’t get any ideas, still working’ on those two!
Why did you start your business?
One of the routines that has impacted my life most is meal prepping. I found the more prepared I was with my meals the more I was getting out of my days. No time waiting in line for lunch, some extra cash in my pocket, and lots of energy for strong performance at my CrossFit gym. As time went on, I needed something to spice up my meal prep game that was tasty and calorically responsible. Pickled vegetables became an exciting experiment and eventually a staple in my diet, since they added so much tang and flavor to my meals, not to mention COLOR! I found myself adding these pickled vegetables to just about everything. Every time I cracked open one of my meal prep containers it felt like a small celebration in my day.
This moment of celebration is what I hope to bring to people. Cooking at home can be challenging and sometimes boring – but it doesn’t have to be! Using simple ingredients and pops of color can make food jump off your plate!
What did you do before starting your business?
Before starting my business I worked in retail management. During this time I worked for Lululemon, Whole Foods, and Blue Bottle Coffee. These three strong brands taught me what is meant to work for a value-driven organization. I was lucky enough to work with leaders who lived and breathed our core values. This environment taught me that businesses aren’t just driven by just the bottom line, they are built by people with passion, drive, and tenacity. No career path prepared me more for making the leap to entrepreneurship.
What convinced you to take the plunge?
I have always wanted to start my own business so I didn’t need much convincing, I just needed to find the right support system. Before connecting with Union Kitchen I was spending most nights googling “How to bring a grocery product to shelf?”. I was getting somewhere but I knew there were a lot of questions left to answer. I kept telling myself, “There has to be someone out there who can help me with this!” After even more googling I stumbled upon Union Kitchen.
Enter, team UK! It has been amazing to get in front of so many passionate people who are excited to hear about my concept and more than willing to provide me with the honest feedback and direction I need. Once I had these guys on my team, there was no question I was ready to take the plunge. SPLASH!
What do you like about food?
Oh man … what is there not to LOVE about food!? If you ever eat with me you’ll probably be shocked by the number of adjectives I can use when describing just how delicious something as simple as a good turkey sandwich can be!
Over time food has become a hugely creative outlet for me, it’s what I love most. It allows me to be creative aesthetically and functionally, and explore questions like”What can I put on my plate today that will be visually stunning and nutritionally dense?” “What do I need to eat before and after my workout so I can PR this lift!?” When I combine the aesthetic and functional aspects of food, I am inspired by how it can positively impact our lives in so many ways. This constant puzzle is what keeps drawing me in.
What drew you to the food industry?
I like to think of the food industry as an experiential industry. Whether it is the Perfect Bar you are scarfing down on a busy Monday or your first time at a new restaurant, you walk away feeling something. In both cases there was someone there who crafted that experience for you. This is what excites me most, the fact that I can make something that changes how we experience our food.
What’s the biggest business challenge you’ve faced to date?
Coming from a retail background my days and weeks were incredibly routine. I was executing the same tasks at the same time week over week. In this entrepreneurial world, no day looks the same, which leaves me asking myself, “Am I doing this right?”. I continue to remind myself that as I build and scale, some schedules and routines will resume, but for now, I am building this from the ground up.